There are a bunch of verbal tics that people use that drive me crazy. “Honestly” and “to tell you the truth” are the two that I dislike the most.
Another one that I hate is “that’s a good question” as the immediate response to a question. I know this is just buying time to start to formulate an answer, but it always annoys me.
Today, one of my partners (who heard me coach a CEO on this the other day in preparation for a presentation) told me that I had just said “that’s a good question” three times in a meeting we were in. I looked at him with my normal incredulous “huh?” look and said “really?” He didn’t respond with “that’s a good question” but responded, “I don’t mean to be an asshole about it, but really.”
I guess I’ve been promulgating one of the verbal tics that annoys me. If you notice me doing this with you, please admonish me appropriately.